The Thirty first Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF 31) for June to August 2012 rainfall season was held at the Kempinski hotel, Djibouti on the 29-30 May 2012. The theme of the forum was “building resilience to climate related disasters in the Greater Horn of Africa through regional climate forums”.
Djibouti, which is also home of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) headquarters, played host to this forum which was organized by IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) and held within the framework of the IGAD regional strategy for mainstreaming climate information in key socio-economic sectors for disaster risk reduction and sustainable development.
The Minister of Equipment and Transport, Mr. Mohamed Moussa Ibrahim Balala officially opened the forum and warmly welcomed all the participants drawn from the various IGAD member states. In his opening remarks, the minister citied that the Djibouti government was very keen on climate and environment issues and in an effort to enhance the country’s services, they were in the final stages of establishing a national weather services agency.
Also, present from the IGAD secretariat to represent the Executive Secretary was Mr. Mohammed Moussa who emphasised IGAD’s commitment to ensuring the region achieves resilience to climate related disasters. Mr. Osman Saad Said the Director Djibouti Meteorological Department and Permanent Representative of Djibouti with World Meteorological Organization (WMO), was the master of ceremony and key local organizer of the event.
GHACOF 31 was supported by Climate Information for Development in Africa (ClimDevAfrica) a project that funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and coordinated through the African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD). The forum brought together climate experts and scientists from the region, representatives from renowned worldwide centres, climate information users from various sectors, as well as decision-makers.
The forum is expected to come up with a regional climate consensus to be released in the respective countries in order for necessary action and precaution to be taken. This is the first Climate Outlook Forum to be held in Djibouti and a big team from the Djibouti Meteorological Department was not only in attendance but provided excellent coordination alongside the IGAD secretariat and ICPAC team, making the event a huge success.